Investment in mobile browsers by John Lewis

This month saw the launch of the John Lewis mobile commerce site which can be found at m.johnlewis.com. The site currently attracts 100,000 visitors a week and it is hoped that the user friendly design of the mobile site will convert more of these visitors into buyers.

A recent survey shows that searches from mobile devices has increased by 247% over the last 12 months, while desktop search fell by 15% and research suggests that this trend is likely to continue.

Mobile visitors to the site should be automatically redirected to the mobile version of the site when they arrive at the John Lewis site via mobile search.

Navigating the site

mobile home pageThe John Lewis site has a very simple layout with navigational options shown in a vertical list and a search box conveniently situated under the banner at the top of the page. Each navigation option brings up sub categories so users can choose the precise area of the site they wish to browse.

There is a large product range on the site with comprehensive filtered navigation options so users can narrow their product search options.

Good filters are important on any e-commerce site, but are more important on mobile sites as mobile connections can vary in speed and quality.

mobile website product pageProduct pages

The product pages contain detailed information on product specs, which can make for long pages and plenty of scrolling for some products, though the pages load quickly enough.

Providing images for mobile sites can be challenging, especially for fashion items and slightly larger images are preferable for shoppers.

For some products, the images don’t really help to sell the items.

mobile website product detail pageFor example, the photo for this jacket is too small to make out the details, and there is no option to zoom in or to see the product from another angle:

For products with longer descriptions, John Lewis could do more to make the content easier to read by breaking up details into headings and bullet points.

Multichannel options

For many products, as well as the options to buy via the site, there are click and collect options. There is also a store locator, though a more prominent link is right down the page in small text. A more prominent link to this would be more helpful.

What should you do now?

Consider your website, your visitors, the quantity of mobile visitors now and in the future and if your site/customers would benefit from having a mobile enhanced version.  Mobile sites are not just about ecommerce and can be developed for informational / brochure sites.

If you have any questions about the benefits of mobile sites for your business, please let me know.

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Nigel White
My career has given me insights into large and small businesses across many sectors. Academically, I have a MA (Strategic Marketing) and use this understanding to provide consultancy and advice to all clients I work with. Very high on my agenda: needs analysis, service, and quality.